Say Her Name by Francisco Goldman was a difficult book to read. I was expecting to be overcome by emotion as it the story of how the author copes with the death of his young wife. Instead, I found myself kept at arms length from emotion and felt very little empathy for the author. I read a review later which said that Goldman publicised his book as fiction which I find difficult to accept. What person would write fiction like this?
Surrendered by Chang-rae Lee is the opposite to Goldman’s book – there is emotion aplenty. The first chapter is horrifying; such description of pain and tragedy during a war. I found Lee’s book to have authentic characters full of pain and confusion. It is understandable that these characters ended up they way they did. June, Hector and Sylvie leave a indelible mark on your memory.
The Laughing Clowns by William McInnes is in an entirely different genre. Peter Kennedy and Pickersgill Peninsula are a typical Australian story. Pickersgill could be any country town by the sea and Peter is the prodigal son returned to find himself. Great book.
The Butt by Will Self is one of the best books I have read in ages. It was hilarious. You will not believe what happens to Tom after he casually flicks a cigarette butt from his holiday balcony. You will never be so casual again. It is incredible that someone can weave an entire tale around such an event! I’ll have to find some more Will Self books – although seems to be a lot of controversy about his books (either you love them or you hate them).